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Do Republicans Really Need a Leader?

By Ben Pershing
Six months after Republicans lost control of the White House and slipped further out of power on the Hill, most coverage of the party portrays it as lost in the wilderness, riven by internal conflict and searching in vain for a winning message. In the past week alone, we've read about Sarah Palin vs. Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee vs. Eric Cantor, social vs. economic conservatives, Meghan McCain vs. Bristol Palin, and so on.

Implicit in much of the coverage is the need for Republicans to find their perfect leader, the man or woman to lead them out of that wilderness. But who says the minority party can or should have one person in charge? Who was "the leader" for Democrats in 2006? The party had multiple figures jockeying for power -- Howard Dean and congressional leaders fought regularly -- and yet they still won that cycle. Newt Gingrich played a vital role for Republicans in 1994 but he was by no means the only leader of the effort, and he was a constant combatant in intraparty battles too.

Continue reading at Political Browser »

By Ben Pershing  |  May 8, 2009; 8:25 AM ET
Categories:  The Rundown  
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It's so great that Republicans continue to look to human turds like Limbaugh and Cheney for their leadership. I love it. The GOP is dead.

Posted by: unpluggedboodah | May 11, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse


You could wish for Rush Limbaugh to have kidney failure and die too.

Posted by: JakeD | May 11, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

The repubs dont need a leader, they need a gimmick. Most repub voters are rural and undereducated. A race car, a beer label, or a bikini babe would do.

Posted by: bushieisa | May 10, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

When a group of grown ups decide to go anti everything, they will remain leaderless. Palin and Bush 43 do not have the brain power to come up with anything appropriate. Their congress men and ladies don't think simply follow Gingrich the man of no morals, and no new toughts - he who responds only negatively and an idiot like Chaney, the closest thing we have to Herman Goering, led by an ape in black shirts bouncing up and down on his Oxy contin jag- results equal no plans from the air head Eric Cantor, the elected "represenatative black" Steele simply has them all looking like buffoons. Shelby wants government contracts for the tanker planes to go to non-union shops owned by the Brits and the French and Korean and Japanese cars, subsidized by foreign countries, they just have no way to bail out of their morass. It all has no name - no plan and certainly no good for the nation. They were pulled and elected by the religious right for years and now they are being ignored simply because make this a one religion nation will never work. They bring up guns and abortion when they have no suggestions to clear up the mess they made, they should stay in the ideological purgery they are in. Call the Democrat Liberals anything you want like Socialist - and tell them all to refuse their Medicare, Health Insurance, Death Benefits and such-all of Roosevelts socilist crap to win back life, party, health of the nation and th benefit of many vs. the enriched, inherited wealth again. I would bet that currently near 80 per cent fo the nation - not the voters, though that is changing are truly Progressives now or by any other name than conservative. Bush 43 gave away the stimulus without a pay back plan or a stock taking. Who is kidding who about giving away the store without taking an interest in the future of the country to be paid back. doc clock Florida Panhandle

Posted by: docclock | May 10, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

While Sarah Palin is busy trying to be a contender for a Job she is simply NOT Qualified for-when she should be trying to GOVERN Alaska, and target a Cabinet Post;

The Mittster, and a collection of other shrewd Republican Executives and Congressmen realize that the polarity is Dimocrat Socialism, and RepubliCan Capitalism!

Gentlemen, and Sarahs;

Leave your Fool Crosses AT HOME!

The collective:

The National Council for a New America!

"Change"-REAL, and NEEDED, "Change";

this time is coming around!

Posted by: SAINT---The | May 9, 2009 5:18 AM | Report abuse

The republicans and conservatives are unified and very focused on an important issue.

Dijon Mustard

Posted by: hayden1 | May 8, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

The Grand Obsolete Party is becoming more and more irrelevant in shaping federal policy. They virtually have no institutional authority - anywhere. They'll become more of a soaring minority in Congress with the upcoming 2010 elections. Conservatives are dying off. Conservatism is dead.

Posted by: SenatePower | May 8, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Republicans don't need a leader so much as they need a few spokespeople who can appeal to the majority of Americans without enraging their base, and vice versa.

No easy trick, that.

Posted by: nodebris | May 8, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

"This results in taxation without representation for future generations."
Care to substantiate "taxation without representation". Supposedly, taxes will increase because of stimulus funds, or national health care or other domestic programs. At least we will have something to show for these funds being spent, unlike the last administration which left us with nothing to show except wreckage.

Posted by: JRM2 | May 8, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse


• What have your Bush holdovers told you about this multi-agency coordinated security/military/intel action -- known to insiders as "the program"?

A nationwide "extrajudicial punishment matrix" has made a mockery of the judicial system, and civil and human rights in America -- but the Obama administration has yet to dismantle this clear and present danger to democracy.

Bush-Cheney- spawned torture is NOT just a foreign affair.

The extra-legal network it created or expanded enables citizen vigilantes affiliated with federally-funded volunteer community policing and public safety groups to stalk, harass, terrorize -- and YES, torture.

With microwave radiation "directed energy weapons" -- apparently OK'ed for use on detainees AND U.S. citizens by still-secret Bush "torture memos."

This "American Gestapo" has co-opted and corrupted local law enforcement nationwide -- a grassroots-based authoritarian apparatus "hiding in plain sight."

And a related array of secret federal "programs of personal financial destruction" decimates the finances of "targeted" persons and their families -- who are denied due process of law as their personal wealth is slowly expropriated.

Please, White House staff, read this. Your Bush holdovers already know all about it.

What have they told YOU?

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):

Posted by: scrivener50 | May 8, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

As a former republican turned independent it strikes me that the republicans are like the man who would rather be right than president;consequently we have Obama/Biden.This results in taxation without representation for future generations.Get with it GOP

Posted by: harry685 | May 8, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Republicans don't need a leader, they need a collective lobotomy.

Posted by: hayden1 | May 8, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I meant 1977 (re: Carter ; )

Posted by: JakeD | May 8, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

LOL! Were the Republicans in "desparate need" of a leader in May of 1981?

Posted by: JakeD | May 8, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Yes, the GOP is in desperate need of leadership. We are left to listen to DICK Cheney and Rush Limbaugh. Cheney brags about torture - arrogantly daring anyone to do anything about it. Peggy Noonan - one of the articulate Republicans says of Cheney, "Sometimes we need to just keep on walking." The leadership is failing the party. ...............

Posted by: glclark4750 | May 8, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

If unemployment keeps up (maybe even some inflation and more misteps by Pelosi) the GOP will take back the White House AND Congress!

Posted by: JakeD | May 8, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

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